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Courage for the Call

When I first came into my role as coordinator of MTW, I was asked by the Committee on Mission to the World to focus on three key areas: diversity, globalization, and mobilization. My family and I had just returned from Southeast Asia, where we served as MTW missionaries for 10 years. Our new life in Atlanta and my new role as coordinator were very different from our life and ministry in Cambodia.

In the midst of these enormous personal changes, I was tasked with implementing big changes in our organization. It was a challenge. Yet, as I sought the Lord, I remembered the mandate He’s given us to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” We have a clear call. And it’s our responsibility both individually and as an organization to be good stewards as we live out that call.

For many of us, the call is scary. It’s difficult. It’s full of changes and challenges that stretch us beyond our own abilities.

I have been reflecting on the book of Joshua, especially the first chapter where Joshua takes leadership after Moses. The refrain that is echoed is, “Be strong and courageous” (1:6,7,9). But how? The key is in the fact that this command is always connected to a promise of God’s presence. Why is this important?

God does not tell Joshua, “Be strong and courageous because you’re bigger, you’re stronger, you’re smarter than your enemies.” No, the reason why Joshua is commanded to be strong and courageous is because God is with him. He will never leave or forsake him. In other words, Joshua is not to trust in his own abilities for courage and strength, but in the promises and presence of God.

As we read the book of Joshua, we quickly realize that the way God’s people win battles is not through military might, intelligence, or skill, but by trusting in God, trusting that God is faithful to His promises, trusting that He will go before them and win the battle on their behalf. The way we can be strong and courageous in the face of rapid change and uncertainty is to live by faith—faith in the greater Joshua, Jesus, who has defeated our enemy and leads us into His heavenly promised land. We can be strong and courageous because by His Spirit, He is with us even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20).

God invites us to participate in the redemption and renewal of His broken world: preaching the gospel of grace to the lost, bringing justice and mercy to the poor and oppressed, advancing the kingdom of God throughout the world. This is a big call that requires bold hope. For some, that call means going to the ends of the earth—to the slums of Ethiopia and the megacities of Asia, to refugee camps in Europe, and villages high in the Andes. For others, it means serving in our churches at home—sending, giving, equipping, and supporting. For all of us, it means seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness—courageously.

This was originally published in The Journey devotional, 2018. Lloyd Kim is the coordinator for Mission to the World. 

 

 

Lloyd Kim, Reflection Jan 24, 2019
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